Quick Takes on Attorney General Sessions Appearance Before the Senate Intel Comm

Quick Takes on Attorney General Sessions Appearance Before the Senate Intel Comm

1. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in his opening testimony calls the claims of collusion between himself and Russia, an “appalling and detestable lie.” Sessions also stated that “I appreciate the Committee’s critically important efforts to investigate Russian interference with our democratic process. Such interference can never be tolerated and I encourage every effort to get to the bottom of any such allegations.” Sessions also stated that he “did not have any private meetings nor do I recall any conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel. I did not attend any meetings at that event.”

2. Sessions also stated his reason for recusing himself from the Russian investigation saying, “I recused myself not because of any asserted wrongdoing on my part during the campaign, but because a Department of Justice regulation, 28 CFR 45.2, required it. That regulation states, in effect, that Department employees should not participate in investigations of a campaign if they have served as a campaign advisor.Continuing Sessions stated, “the scope of my recusal, however, does not and cannot interfere with my ability to oversee the Department of Justice, including the FBI.”

3. In testy exchange, AttorneyJeff Sessions decries “secret innuendo being leaked out there” about his recusal and “I don’t appreciate it” when asked by Senator Wyden about the possibility of more reasons why his recusal was necessary per the Comey testimony last week.

4. “I do not have any recollection of meeting or talking to the Russian Ambassador or any other Russian officials, ” Sessions stated in regards to the story that Sessions met with Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel while candidate Trump was delivering a speech on foreign policies.

5. Sessions stated that he recused himself from the Russian investigation because of a Department of Justice regulation, which he said states, “that Department employees should not participate in investigations of a campaign if they have served as a campaign advisor.”

6. Sessions said that there’s “nothing wrong with the president” having a conversation with the FBI director after being asked about former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony regarding his “uncomfortable” feeling of being left alone with the President.

7. Sessions said that he discussed the firing of Comey as FBI director before he was confirmed as attorney general in January.

8. Senator Martin Heinrich: “You are obstructing that Congressional investigation by not answering questions” Sessions states he is not using executive privilege but will not answer questions regarding conversations with the President.

9. Senator Ron Wyden received a testy response from the Attorney General when Wyden stated that he was tired of all the stonewalling and wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to answer the questions being posed to him. The question was what did Comey know of a reason why Sessions would not be able to respond to questions regarding his recusal, Sessions angrily argued, ““This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don’t appreciate it, and I tried to give my best and truthful answers to any committee I’ve appeared before, and it’s really…people are suggesting through innuendo that I have been not honest about matters, and I’ve tried to be honest.”

10. Once again the only member on the Senate Intel Committee admonished by the Chair was Senator Kamala Harris. First though, Senator John McCain interrupted the Senator during her line of questions regarding any written material that the committee would find of assistance to the investigation. When Sessions would not answer, a question regarding memos be written during his time with the Trump campaign and turning them over, she repeatedly tried to get a yes or no, she persisted but was gaveled by the Chair. Sessions finally said, “I’m not able to be rushed this fast, it makes me nervous.”

11. In last week’s testimony by former FBI director James Comey, he stated that when Comey brought attention to the uneasiness he felt being left alone with the President and that Sessions did not respond, Tuesday, Sessions stated that wasn’t so. ““[Comey] didn’t recall this, but I responded to his comment by agreeing that the FBI and the Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policies regarding appropriate contacts with the White House.”

12. Unfortunately, the testimony was short on substance as Attorney General Sessions pled that he could not answer many questions due to the fact he must keep conversations with the President private. He favorite words appeared to be “I don’t recall” and “ I don’t remember.”

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